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Choosing the right length access ramp is pretty easy once you have the formulas. All you need is a tape measure, a calculator or the handy Ramp Slope Chart (see below) and a keen understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and you’ll be able to buy a ramp with the right amount of incline. You don’t want the ramp to be too steep, right? In fact, the length of the ramp is at least as critical as the width when it comes to safety, but takes some thought and a little planning.
Once you have the length calculated, you can choose the proper width and type of ramp – depending on how and where it will be used. What a relief to know you will be able to get your mobility scooter into the van; assist an elderly or disabled person up the porch steps; or roll your wheelchair down a terraced walkway with the greatest of ease and safety.
Our buddies at Prairie View Industries (PVI Ramps) shared their ramp slope formulas, ramp slope chart and measurement instructions so we could help you calculate your optimal ramp length. Thanks PVI!
How Long Should My Ramp Be?
To determine your ramp length you first need to determine the rise. The rise is the vertical measurement between the ground and where the top of the ramp is going to sit.
Note: If your rise is more than 24″ (2 feet) please contact a local dealer about a modular system.
PVI recommends not to exceed a 2:12 slope (9.5° ramp incline) on most applications. The slope relates to how steep the ramp is, in degrees of incline. Some ramps may need to meet the ADA’s 1:12 (4.8°) more gradual slope requirements, as specified by your state.
To find a 2:12 slope, take the total rise in inches (vertical measurement between the ground and the top of the step or landing) and divide it by 2. The result is the number of feet of ramp length you need for that rise.
Example: Say you have a 12″ rise. Divide 12 by 2 and you get 6. So a 12 inch rise requires a 6 foot ramp, using the 2:12 ratio.
A 1:12 slope (used by the ADA) would require 1 foot length of ramp for every inch of vertical rise.
Slope Recommendations based on Use of Ramp:
- 1:12 SLOPE (4.8°) – Gradual, gentle incline, longest ramp. Calculated as 1 foot length of ramp for every 1 inch of total vertical rise (the rise divided by 1). A 5 inch rise requires a 5 foot ramp, a 12 inch rise requires a 12 foot ramp and so on. The ADA recommends this slope for long home ramps as well as commercial ramps. Note: This 1:12 slope works for most strong, unassisted manual wheelchair users, although PVI always recommends assistance.
- 2:12 SLOPE (9.5°) – Steeper incline, shorter ramp. Calculate length of ramp in feet by dividing total rise by 2 (6″ of ramp length for every 1″ of rise). A 2:12 slope is the maximum acceptable grade (incline) for portable ramps used by occupied chairs and scooters, with a qualified assistant.
- 3:12 SLOPE (14.5°) – Steepest incline. Calculate the length of ramp by dividing the total rise by 3 (4 feet of ramp length for every 12 inches of rise). This 3:12 ratio should be used only for loading and unloading unoccupied chairs and scooters – (in and out of a truck or van, for example).
Ramp Slope Chart
Photo courtesy of PVI, Inc.
Access Ramp Safety Guidelines
- Always have a qualified assistant present when using any portable ramp.
- Never exceed a slope greater than 2″ on 12″ (2:12 ratio) with an occupied chair or scooter. Never exceed a slope greater than 3″ on 12″ (3:12 ratio) with an unoccupied chair or scooter.
- Always make sure that the top of the ramp is secured on a step or landing before using. It may be necessary to anchor the top of the ramp to the landing surface with steel scurity pins provided.
- Make certain there is adequate head clearance prior to loading an occupied chair or scooter into a vehicle.
- Always follow manufacturer recommendations for your chair or scooter.
- Always use your lap belt.
- If your ramp comes with a safety DVD, watch it. All PVI ramps include a DVD.
- If you need help, please call Allegro Medical at 800-861-3211.
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Need a little help getting around? For many, cooler weather means Autumn outings, family travel and events galore. Allegro has hundreds of products to shore up your mobility stability, allowing you to increase your independence and get you on the move!
If you have a friend or loved one with decreased mobility, let them know about these products and share our fabulous discounts & promotions.
Preparing for house guests? It’s nice to have a walker, cane, rollator or transport wheelchair on hand if you have elderly visitors, especially over the holidays.
Cane, Crutch, Walker, Rollator, Transport Wheelchairs, Scooter & Knee Walker
Offset Cane with Strap – If you’re 4’4″ to 6’4″ and under 250 lbs, this is your cane. Great grip and stability.
Quick Change Crutches – Trade in your heavy old wooden crutches and get moving with a pair of these lightweight aluminum beauties. Quick, push button height adjustment.
Lightweight Forearm Crutches – One-piece molded cuff and hand grip for maximum safety & comfort. Cool colors.
Dual Release Adult Walker – Quiet operation, wide, deep frame. Lightweight aluminum. Large number of height adjustments. Terrific value.
Aluminum Rollator with 6″ Wheels– Ideal for indoor or outdoor use, this rolling walker is a terrific mobility aid for people with limited hand function. A special lock protects fingers from “snapback” injuries when the brake is released. Comes with a basket that can be mounted underneath or in front. Large 12″ x 12″ padded seat. Removable backrest. One handed folding. Wt. Capacity 300 lbs. Lifetime warranty.
Strolleasy Lightweight Portable Transport Wheelchair – Perfect for all activities, especially travel. Ultralight, this travel wheelchair weighs under 15 lbs. Folds up in 3 easy steps (no tools) and stores in its own carry bag with shoulder strap. Fits into most airplane overhead containers and easily into car trunks. Yeah! Brakes are foot operated by the caregiver.
Expedition 12″ Rear Wheel Transport Chair – Safe and comfy transport, this folding transport chair comes standard with fixed fully-padded arms, a fold-down back and swingaway footrests. Attendant-operated wheel locks. For users up to 250 lbs.
Ableware Wheelchair Cup Holder – Hands-free drink holder. What’s not to love? Holds a cup, glass, can or bottle. Also works on bed rails and other tubular frames. Easy to position.
Phantom 3-Wheel Scooter – Previously known as the Stringray, this super affordable scooter is LOADED. On board battery charger, flip back adjustable width arms, sleek stylish design. Super reliable and easy to use in the house or outside. Disassembles in 5 lightweight pieces. Fits in most car trunks so you can take it anywhere. Max speed 4 mph – up to 15 miles per charge. Order today for delivery at your home!
Knee Walker with Fixed Wheels – A great new alternative to standard crutches. Especially designed for those with a below-knee injury. Great for foot surgery recovery. Just put your knee of the injured leg on the knee pad and propel the knee walker around with your good leg. To steer, take a step with the good leg while gently lifting the handle and turning in the direction you want to go. Comes with brakes which can be adjusted for right or left handed use.
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Thanks for your business and your referrals. It means a lot.
It’s wheelchair beautification month again (I know, it comes around so fast). Our idea of a beautiful wheelchair is a well-accessorized, fully-actualized mobility device, so rather than celebrate by putting a flag on your scooter or some reflective tape on your spokes, do it up right with some of our most popular accessories for scooters, wheelchairs and walkers.
Beverage Holders – No more spills. Carry your favorite drink with you, but leave your hands free.
Most Popular: Adjustable Wheelchair Cup Holder
Casters – Wow, these are cool. We have a whole lot to choose from, but most of them are truly…um…boring. If it was up to me, everyone would have colored casters or ones that light up. More color! More color!
Most Popular: Light Up Casters and Soft Roll Casters
Wheelchair Gloves – Refine your look and save your hands at the same time.
Most Popular: Half-Finger Wheelchair Gloves
Coolest: Leather/Lycra & Mesh Back Gloves
Packs & Pouches – Wheelchair and walker bags can be attached to the front of a walker, the armrest of a transport chair or the push handles of any wheelchair. See all of our sidepacks, back packs, underneath carriers, cell phone holders and oxygen tank holders.
Most Popular: Scooter Arm Tote
Coolest: Designer Wheelchair Bags
Tires – What can I say, they’re tires. We have racers (yeah!), street tires, and tires to get you in, out and around anything. You deserve some new ones.
Most Popular: Gray Pneumatic Knobby Express Tire
Coolest: High Performance Primo Racer Wheelchair Tire
Wheelchair Aids – From IV pole holders to fishing pole holders we have it here. Find hand controls, wheelchair seat belts, cane holders, reacher clips, foot cushions, mirrors, lap cushions, tire pumps, installation tools, anti-tippers and more.
Wheels – Define your personal style with a new set of wheelchair wheels and handrims!
Most Popular: Spinergy Wheels and Natural-Fit Handrims.
Want to see a truly fully ‘beautified’ wheelchair? Check out our Jet Powered Concept Wheelchair.
Thanks for your business.
The Allegro site is chock full of great products for wheelchair users but now you can find a specific selection of products in Paraplegia: Shop by Condition.
Click on “Paraplegia” under the Shop by Condition tab (home page) anytime to see a comprehensive list of Allegro’s most popular paraplegic products including shower chairs, transfer benches, cushions, catheters, daily living aids, safety products, wheelchair accessories – you name it.
Thanks to everyone on the Allegro Experts Network who helped me put the list of products together, along with suggestions from our own Product Manager and Allegro veteran, Mike Benge – a 15-yr. paraplegic with impeccable taste in products and places to work.
Special thanks to Allegro fan and Expert Network member “Del Huffman from Tennessee” for his recommendations.
I have been a T-8 Paraplegic for over a quarter of a century; the result of a motorcycle accident. It seems I have tried every medical supply and every type of medical equipment out there. I am more than pleased to possibly help someone ‘cut to the chase’ with what works and is best for the difficult life we must endure in the “Wheel-World.”
As a male with a spinal cord injury, I find the UltraFlex External Catheter, by Rochester Medical, to be the best there is. Also, the Conveen Leg Bags, 800 ml, compliment the caths as the ultimate set for urological supplies. What is best about these items? They are durable, non-irritating to the skin, odor-free, and one can’t tell you even wear them! All of this is important to a person with modesty, as life can be embarrassing at times given our circumstances…
Allegro’s Bisacodyl Suppositories, USP 10 mg. are the most effective available, and very inexpensive too. The glycerin ones are not even close to the bisacodyl in effectiveness.
All of Allegro’s shower chairs are great; I have used several. Depending on the level of injury, the back rest height, and non-slip legs, (rubber tube caps) are excellent for a safe, and relaxing shower. I live alone, and am very active so I need the best products to help me be independent, and on time! I am a full-time college student, majoring in Social Work, I coach basketball, am involved in ministries, and work part-time too. I am very clean and organized. I know that exercise, cleanliness, and a positive outlook are key to a wonderful life of independence and joy.
All the folks at Allegro are always ready to help you and they carry all of the coolest merchandise available you will ever need! From wheelchairs and parts, to hygiene products, there is so much out there and life is what you make it.
Character is measured by what it takes to stop you; adversity with composure is my motto!
A big Allegro “Thank You” to Del! What a guy. If anyone else has suggestions about products that other paraplegic or active wheelchair users would enjoy, please email me. I’m at vpaxton (at) allegro (no space) medical dot com. You’ll have to decipher this on your own, as I have to be cryptic to avoid spammers using my email address.
Live Well. -v
MESA, Ariz. – July 24, 2008 – Internet superstore Allegro Medical today unveiled a $387,568 jet powered wheelchair illustrating that the sky is the limit when it comes to making your wheelchair “beautiful”. Probably not exactly what National Wheelchair Beautification Month founder Horace Knowles had in mind when he invented the July holiday, but Allegro considers its ‘Jet Chair’ beautiful nonetheless.
The image of the supercharged wheelchair, complete with jet engine, fat run-flat high pressure tires, a rear airfoil, windsock and curb feelers (for easy parking) is part of an advertising campaign to encourage savvy wheelchair users to “Pimp Their Ride”. The wheelchair is advertised for $387,568 — marked down from $755,000 — and is reported to go 0-300 mph in 4.2 seconds. A safety helmet and fire-retardant underwear are recommended.
“It looks like it belongs in a Batman movie. This tricked out wheelchair fit our concept so perfectly that we decided to have a little fun and advertise it in our electronic catalog and on our website,” says Sean Cramer, Allegro’s Vice President of Marketing. “The Jet Chair is getting a lot of laughs and attention, and one customer actually added it to his shopping cart and tried to buy it. A few people have called to ask if it is real. It’s not, by the way.”
Billed as a practical, general-purpose sub-sonic everyday wheelchair, perfectly at home in the Bonneville Salt Flats doing 400 mph or cruising to the market, it still may not be for everyone. If a wheelchair with a jet pack isn’t your thing, Allegro Medical has plenty of wheelchair alternatives and accessories. Most people start with a cup holder and work their way up. In addition to showcasing more than 115 different wheelchairs, the Allegro website offers 400+ wheelchair accessories, all designed to enhance the functionality, safety and overall look of an existing manual wheelchair or power chair. Anyone shopping at https://www.allegromedical.com can order online and have specialty products like beverage holders, colorful or flashing wheel casters, spinning spokes, cool backpacks, pouches and trays delivered directly to their home. The sky is the limit.
About Allegro Medical
Allegro Medical is a division of Allegro Enterprises, Inc., a privately-owned company based in Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1996, and serving more than 1 million consumer and business customers, the Company is one of the largest and most technologically advanced independently owned suppliers of life enhancing products in the U.S.
Since launching the first ecommerce site in the medical equipment and home health care supplies industry in 1998, Allegro has expanded into Health & Fitness, Nutritional Dietary Supplements, Sexual Well-Being, Pain Relief, Emergency Preparation and Maternity/Baby. Visitors to www.allegromedical.com are offered a broad selection of thousands of brand name products searchable by Keyword, Category, Brand and Medical Condition.
vpaxton (at) AllegroMedical. com
480-990-8881, Ext. 110